Director: John Hay
Writer: John Hay, David Logan (Screenplay) Stephen Michael Shearer (Novel)
Starring: Hug Bonneville, Keeley Hawes, Bobby O’Neill, Darcey Ewart, Sam Heughan, Rick Lipton, Conleth Hill, Geoffrey Palmer
Plot: The story of the tumultuous marriage between actress Patricia Neal and renowned writer Roald Dahl.
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: To Olivia starts as we meet Roald Dahl (Bonneville) and his wife Patricia Neal (Hawes) who have the perfect world with three young children Olivia (Ewart), Tessa (Jonsson) and baby Theo. Both Roald and Patricia are looking for the next stage of their careers until tragedy strikes.
Olivia the eldest daughter gets struck down with illness and passes away, leaving the relationship between Roald and Patricia strained, as they both need to remain strong for the other two children, building an even bigger imagination for Roald to work with.
Thoughts on To Olivia
Characters & Performances – Roald Dahl is the author looking for his next stage of inspiration for a new book, he has the perfect little life, but ends up getting caught in a deep depression after the death of his first daughter, needing to open up about his feelings if he is going to carry on with his life. Once he overcomes his depression, he finds a new love for writing, bringing together some of his best work. Hugh Bonneville is great in this role, bringing the beloved author to life. Patricia Neal is the wife of Roald, she is looking for her next acting role, which will see her struggle, but also look to move on quicker after the death of their child, looking to show the grief she has been through. Keeley Hawes is wonderful in this role, bring the strongest of the couple, the anchor in the life of the couple. The rest of the cast include the children that will need the help needed to get through the problems the family goes through. We also get friends of the family that help the couple find the next stage of their lives.
Story – The story here follows author Roald Dahl and actress Patricia Neal’s relationship after they lose a child, showing us the pain the couple must go through, the strain it puts on their relationship and the futures they look to fight for. This is an interesting look at the couple’s life showing us how the couple look to build a life to have a better future after the pain they have been through, which will lead to one of the most important moments of their careers. It will show the process the different levels of grief the couple must go through. It gets this side through strong, but the timeline of both the twos careers can become confusing to get understand the levels we are in.
Themes – To Olivia will use the themes of grief to show us just how the couple will need deal with it. We will see the settings being used from the quiet home in England to the busy life in LA.